30. Tour of Slovenia June 12th - June 16th 2024

Bauhaus fastest in Rogaška Slatina, Mezgec third

Bauhaus fastest in Rogaška Slatina, Mezgec third

The winner of the second stage, starting in Žalec and finishing in Rogaška Slatina, was predictably decided by a sprint of a larger group, with German Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious) taking the win today after finishing third on first stage. Luka Mezgec (Team Jayco AlUla) was also in contention for the victory, but still finished an excellent third place.

Second, 177.9 kilometers long stage pushed the riders to press hard on the pedals, as the numerous short climbs and the categorized ascent of Celje hut created a strong selection. The breakaways had a much harder job today, but the attacks were more frequent, which made the racing all the more interesting. In the end, the stage was decided by the larger group, surprisingly without the "green jersey", Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jayco AlUla), the winner of Ormož. The Dutchman fell behind on the main climb of the day and could no longer catch the peloton, which also opened an opportunity for local favorite Luka Mezgec. Luka got past the bunch virtually unaided and was in a fantastic position for a moment, but Phil Bauhaus' attack was too strong and Luka was also overtaken by Italian Alberto Dainese (Tudor Pro Cycling Team).

Bauhaus is now the new leader of the race and will be wearing green tomorrow. The highest placed Slovenian is Luka Mezgec in 5th place, with Domen Novak (UEA Team Emirates) in 8th and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain Victorious) in 10th. For now we are still talking about seconds, tomorrow will probably be completely different story.

Dylan Groenewegen: “For us sprinters and also for me it was a super hard day, especially hard was the climb in the middle of the stage. UAE and the other guys really went with the hard pace. Also last 40, 50 kilometres was just basically suffering for the sprinters. I'm prepared really good, so I'm happy with my legs. In the sprint it was just about squeezing everything out and I'm happy I could passed Dainese and take the win. Yesterday I came third, which is still a good result. Of course you always want a win, but it's super difficult, Groenewegen, Kristoff and those guys are a world class riders. Yesterday we did good, but not perfect. Today we did really amazing team work from the start to the end, so it's really nice to pay back my team also.”

Luka Mezgec: “They all had leadouts, so I had to come out of nowhere, otherwise I would have used too much energy. It's great to be sprinting again, as a main rider, not just as a leadout. I'm most happy that I felt good after the crash as there were some worries and doubts if I would start today, but everything was great during the race.
Every now and again I am surprised by the section before Rogaška Slatina. Every year I know it's very difficult, but you erase the bad things from your memory and you think it won't be that hard. But every time you get here you have to go with full force to every hill and there is no rest. I am happy with how I feel, we are going on day by day.”

Also worth mentioning:
- The race organizers cooperate with Slovenian railway operator Slovenske železnice, which closely monitors the progress of the stages and together we avoid stoppages due to train crossings whenever possible. Today, cyclists crossed the railway line 13 times, which speaks volumes about this important, but rarely seen, part of the coordination.
- In addition to the classic intermediate sprints, today's stage also featured three premium intermediate sprints, where the winner receives a cash prize rather than bonus seconds. Such intermediate sprints were at Vojnik, Štore and Spodnji vrh.
- The average speed on the stage was 40.1 km/h.

Winners of the intermediate sprints
Braslovče (15.5 km): Nicolas Gojković (Adria Mobil)
Šentjur (119.9 km): Pau Miquel Delgado (Eqipo Kern Pharma)
Šmarje pri Jelšah (139.7 km): Martin Marcellusi (VF Group-Bardiani CSF- Faizane')

Winner of the K.O.M. prime - Celjska koča (95.9 km, 2. cat): Davide Baldaccini (Corratec Vini Fantini)

Leader’s jerseys
Green: Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious)
Red: Phil Bauhaus (Bahrain Victorious), will be worn by Alberto Dainese (Tudor Pro Cycling Team)
Indigo: Davide Baldaccini (Corratec Vini Fantini)
White: Alexander Hajek (BORA - hansgrohe)


Photos: Sportida